The best books on customer success

9 authors have picked their favorite books about customer success and why they recommend each book.

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Content Inc.

By Joe Pulizzi,

Book cover of Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful

In Content Inc, Joe Pulizzi makes a bold proposal: What if you build your business on content—before you sell anything? Start with content, build a community, figure out what people want, and then serve it to them. A company built this way will have a culture aligned with its customers’ values. Now in its second edition, this book will make you rethink content marketing and entrepreneurship.


Who am I?

I am an author, nonfiction writing geek, and marketing practitioner on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their writing. Before setting out on this path, I spent many years as a marketing consultant, working with over 100 technology companies to articulate their messaging and value to customers and prospects. My first book, Subscription Marketing, was my manifesto about the changes needed in marketing to thrive in the emerging, subscription-based world. It’s now in its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages.


I wrote...

Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

By Anne H. Janzer,

Book cover of Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

What is my book about?

The growth of the subscription economy is reshaping our expectations of what it means to be a customer. Customers don’t want to be sold “stuff” or treated like transactions—they value experiences and relationships. The traditional practices of marketing must adjust. In today’s world, leads are fine, but relationships are better. Large marketing budgets are helpful, but creativity is priceless. Interrupt-driven tactics like advertising deliver inconsistent results, while adding and creating value always work. 

Subscription Marketing is a guide to navigating the new opportunities of marketing. The book offers a wide range of “value nurturing” strategies that you can implement, no matter what industry you’re in.

Expert Secrets

By Russell Brunson,

Book cover of Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Converting Your Online Visitors Into Lifelong Customers

If you are an expert at something and you want to build a business around your expertise, then Expert Secrets is your guide. Russell Brunson has several other very successful books, but for me, this is the starting point on your expert journey. Once you have mastered how to package and talk about your expertise in a way that enrolls others, then you are well on your way to the success you are seeking. Russell shows you how to simplify your message, address resistance, and develop what he calls “unlimited free customers”. He shows you exactly how to bridge your customers from their current situation to where they want to be using your expertise. If done correctly, your target customers will be banging your door down to hire you for your expertise to accelerate their own personal goals and elevate your income!

Who am I?

As a 15-year-old, Peter started his first business remodeling houses. He hired help older than him so they could drive him to the job sites. Peter used this first business to help finance his college education. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Peter started his career working in the Space Shuttle Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in the Houston, TX metro, and in the evenings, Peter received his M.B.A. from the University of Houston. It was through his initial career experiences, that Peter discovered he wanted to help businesses become the best that they could be in pursuit of their vision.


I wrote...

Free Enterprise

By Peter Lange,

Book cover of Free Enterprise

What is my book about?

Free Enterprise is the culmination of a life's work in successful sales and marketing. In this definitive guide, bestselling author Bronson introduces many of the most innovative marketing strategies and tactics into their clearest and most applicable form to date. The aim is to assist anyone in the world with a small to mid-sized business take advantage of all the mostly-free social and general media access. The goal is to assist these individuals on a worldwide basis for the purpose of inspiring free trade at the most elementary level. The more this level of commerce is encouraged, free trade is encouraged, the greater the opportunities for world peace. It's friendship and world peace through commerce, one small vendor at a time.

Escaping the Build Trap

By Melissa Perri,

Book cover of Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value

Melissa is rewriting the book on modern product management. Her advice is hard-earned, practical, and useful. If you’re interested in starting a career in product management, this book offers up specifics on what exactly is product management and how to excel at it in modern, agile cultures.


Who am I?

Jeff has been a UX designer, team leader and product manager for over 20 years. His work in the field helped define some of the key practices product managers use today. Building a customer-centric practice is key to successful products and services and Jeff has demonstrated that not only in the products and companies he’s helped build but in the writing and thinking he’s contributed to the product managaement community.


I wrote...

Forever Employable: How to Stop Looking for Work and Let Your Next Job Find You

By Jeff Gothelf,

Book cover of Forever Employable: How to Stop Looking for Work and Let Your Next Job Find You

What is my book about?

After spending the first 10 years of his career climbing the corporate ladder, Jeff Gothelf decided to change his approach to staying employed. Instead of looking for jobs, they would find him. Jeff spent the next 15 years building his personal brand to become a recognized expert, consultant, author, and public speaker.

In this highly tactical, practical book, Jeff Gothelf shares the tips, tricks, techniques, and learnings that helped him become Forever Employable. Using the timeline from his own career and anecdotes, stories and case studies from other successful recognized experts Jeff provides a step-by-step guide to building a foundation based on your current expertise ensuring that no matter what happens in your industry you'll remain Forever Employable. 

Fanocracy

By David Meerman Scott, Reiko Scott,

Book cover of Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers Into Fans

Want to create more raving fans for your business? Maybe true success isn’t in the number of your customers but the depth of their loyalty. David Meerman Scott writes this book together with his daughter Reiko Scott, delivering a multi-generational perspective into what it means to be a fan, and how to cultivate them.


Who am I?

I am an author, nonfiction writing geek, and marketing practitioner on a mission to help people make a positive impact with their writing. Before setting out on this path, I spent many years as a marketing consultant, working with over 100 technology companies to articulate their messaging and value to customers and prospects. My first book, Subscription Marketing, was my manifesto about the changes needed in marketing to thrive in the emerging, subscription-based world. It’s now in its third edition and has been translated into multiple languages.


I wrote...

Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

By Anne H. Janzer,

Book cover of Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn

What is my book about?

The growth of the subscription economy is reshaping our expectations of what it means to be a customer. Customers don’t want to be sold “stuff” or treated like transactions—they value experiences and relationships. The traditional practices of marketing must adjust. In today’s world, leads are fine, but relationships are better. Large marketing budgets are helpful, but creativity is priceless. Interrupt-driven tactics like advertising deliver inconsistent results, while adding and creating value always work. 

Subscription Marketing is a guide to navigating the new opportunities of marketing. The book offers a wide range of “value nurturing” strategies that you can implement, no matter what industry you’re in.

Behind the Cloud

By Marc Benioff, Carlye Adler,

Book cover of Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-And Revolutionized an Industry

Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce, more or less wrote the playbook for B2B startups. In Behind the Cloud, he shares a lot of the tactics that helped make Salesforce the market leader that it is today. Benioff’s work helped shape Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the Cloud for B2B entrepreneurs. On and all, it’s a very entertaining book with a lot of interesting ideas.


Who am I?

I’m a 3-time B2B startup founder (Flagback, HireVoice, and Highlights). For my 2nd startup, HireVoice, we tried to use The Lean Startup methodology and struggled to get traction on the market. When we shut down the company, I knew I wanted to solve my own pain, and learn B2B. I spent the next 2 years speaking (and learning from) some of the most successful B2B founders in the world. This, eventually led to the publication of my book, Lean B2B. Since then, I’ve been at the forefront of B2B entrepreneurship. The Lean B2B methodology has now been used by thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators to help create successful businesses.


I wrote...

Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want

By Étienne Garbugli,

Book cover of Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want

What is my book about?

Lean B2B consolidates the best thinking around Business-to-Business (B2B) customer development to help technology entrepreneurs quickly find traction in the enterprise, leaving as little as possible to luck. Thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators around the world are using the Lean B2B methodology to bring new products to market.

Building a Storybrand

By Donald Miller,

Book cover of Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

This is one of my favorite books of all time. Even though this book is not directly speaking about “personal branding” and while it is written for any type of proper brand communication including businesses, it contains a crucial element needed in personal branding which is “building a story brand”. By reading this book you will, same as I did, understand which words to use in which way so your potential clients will be listening. The book teaches you how to write powerful stories to truly engage with people. To become successful with a personal brand, writing a story about you or any service you might offer is crucial, so this book is highly recommended. I often give this book as a present to friends and clients.

Who am I?

When you have online influence, you have the ability to transform minds, behaviors, and outcomes. Dario Sipos is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Branding Expert, Keynote Public Speaker, Business Columnist, and author of the highly acclaimed books Digital Personal Branding and Digital Retail Marketing. Dario has spent significant time working all over the world in the digital field, helping clients and developing brands. He helps leaders influence positive outcomes in all directions, even under the most difficult, changing conditions. Dario will help you build your influence in all directions of your online presence.


I wrote...

Digital Personal Branding: The Essential Guide to Online Personal Branding in the Digital Age

By Dario Sipos,

Book cover of Digital Personal Branding: The Essential Guide to Online Personal Branding in the Digital Age

What is my book about?

Digital Personal Branding is your guide to developing a personal online brand: Why it matters, how to approach it, and how to manage a personal brand successfully. No one can tell your story better than you can. This book will teach you how to do precisely that. You will be entirely ready to start and run your digital personal branding and marketing processes continuously and consistently. Never again worry about a job by becoming noticeable in your field.

Digital Personal Branding is a must-read for everyone that wants to develop their personal brand and become influential. Perfect for professionals, entrepreneurs, and college students.

Valuable Content Marketing

By Sonja Jefferson, Sharon Tanton,

Book cover of Valuable Content Marketing: How to Make Quality Content Your Key to Success

For writing online beyond your own website, I highly recommend this book. It presents both the big picture and the nitty-gritty of content marketing for small businesses.

What I like about this book is that the authors understand that as a small business, you can’t do everything and be everywhere. So, choose where you want to be and create content that captivates, educates, and inspires your audience.


Who am I?

In 2012, I escaped my corporate job to found Enchanting Marketing. I had discovered I love writing and I love teaching people how to write even more. I help small business owners and solo flyers find their voice and share their ideas with gusto, so they can captivate, educate, and inspire their audience. I created this list with 5 book recommendations as a mini-course on writing for the web. There’s little overlap between the books; they all complement each other. Happy reading and happy writing! 


I wrote...

How to Write Seductive Web Copy: An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers

By Henneke Duistermaat,

Book cover of How to Write Seductive Web Copy: An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers

What is my book about?

This practical book takes you through a 6-step process to write your own web copy. 

I decided to write this book because I found that many coaching clients struggled with the process of writing their own website copy. How do you go from a blank page to a persuasive website? None of the books on the market seemed to offer this kind of advice, so I wrote this book. This is more a workbook than a textbook. Each chapter includes one or two assignments, helping you plan, write, edit, and optimize your web copy so you can convert more website visitors into leads and customers.

Inspired

By Marty Cagan,

Book cover of Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love

Cagan’s book is a deep dive into the principles of modern product management. It expands on the theoretical ideas that Patton introduces in User Story Mapping, and provides many additional tips for engaging customers, experimenting with product ideas, and tracking outcomes. In addition, it deals with the organizational side of product management, so it will be valuable to people working for larger companies that need to manage staff and set up company-wide processes.

Reading this book will help you expand your views of product management, and add lots of additional tools to your thinking process.


Who am I?

I’m a software developer turned independent software vendor, learning about product management as a way to launch more successful products. I’m a co-founder of MindMup, a popular collaboration tool used by millions of students and schoolchildren worldwide, and Narakeet, an innovative video maker for people who are not video professionals. The books from this list helped me create successful products that users love, and successfully compete with companies that have several orders of magnitude more staff and resources. 


I wrote...

Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects

By Gojko Adzic,

Book cover of Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects

What is my book about?

Impact Mapping is a wonderfully effective method for collaborative planning that helps organisations make an impact with software. Impact mapping helps to create better plans and roadmaps that ensure alignment of business and delivery, and are easily adaptable to change. 

How Clients Buy

By Tom McMakin, Doug Fletcher,

Book cover of How Clients Buy: A Practical Guide to Business Development for Consulting and Professional Services

The part about consulting many people hate is the selling bit. Well what better way to go into a conversation in which you are trying to sell your services than with an understanding of the process clients go through to buy? This book provides a useful understanding of the client’s viewpoint of consulting. Although I think it is of best use to those in sales roles in larger consultants and professional services firms, there is also advice, or perhaps a way of thinking, that is useful to everyone from the biggest firm to that single freelance consultant.


Who am I?

I am one of those people who has several careers going on at once. I am widely known as a professional writer and have written 18 books, mostly professional and business books, but I have also written in the self-help genre and some fiction. In parallel with this, I am an independent consultant and have run my consultancy business Enixus Limited for almost 20 years helping large organisations worldwide with complex change programmes. Most of my business books weave together my love of writing with my professional interests and experiences.


I wrote...

The Freelance Consultant: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting an Independent Business

By Richard Newton,

Book cover of The Freelance Consultant: Your Comprehensive Guide to Starting an Independent Business

What is my book about?

My professional books always start with observations about the world of work – observations that lead me to question something, and this results in a book that sets out to answer those questions. This book started with a number of observations, but central to that was noting that there was a huge difference in the levels of success of the most successful and the least successful freelance consultants. By ‘success’ I don’t just mean money, I mean the ability to achieve the goals you want to achieve when you set out as a freelancer. This may be about money, but often it is about freedom, independence and having the work life balance you want. In this book through my own experiences, but also using the stories of 13 other freelance consultants I explore what it is that the successful freelancers do, that their less successful peers don’t.

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